Buddhist Yoga: A Comprehensive Course
The word yoga has many meanings, including "meditation," "method," and "union." While the physical exercises of Hindu yoga are familiar to Westerners, the subtle metaphysics and refined methods of spiritual development that characterize Buddhist yoga are not yet well known. This volume presents a landmark translation of a classical sourcebook of Buddhist yoga, the Sandhinirmochana-sutra, or "Scripture Unlocking the Mysteries," a revered text of the school of Buddhism known as Vijnanavada or Yogachara. The study of this scripture is essential preparation for anyone undertaking meditation exercise. Linking theory and praxis, the scripture offers a remarkably detailed and thorough course of study in both the philosophical and pragmatic foundation of Buddhist yoga, and their perfect, harmonious union in the realization of Buddhist enlightenment.
The Samdhinirmocana Sutra is one of the Buddha's core teachings on the nature consciousness. It reads almost like a textbook on awareness and the meditative techniques that can be used to understand what it means to be consciously alive. Its topics include: ultimate truth, the relationship between truth and practice, the nature of consciousness, the nature of phenomena, meditation, the path to enlightenment, and the nature of a Buddha. In his introduction, Powers says that the Wisdom of Buddha "is intended as a basis for meditative practice," and "a guide to training for enlightenment" He also says that "careful and sustained study" are necessary to "reveal the full depth and scope of this profound work."